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Massachusetts’ Safe Routes to School Gets 500th Partner!

The Massachusetts Department of Transportation (MassDOT) recently announced a pretty big milestone. They were able to enroll the 500th Safe Routes Partner School. This is a program that’s federally funded but organized by MassDOT. It’s the first statewide program in the U.S. of its kind to achieve this level of school participation.
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“This achievement is a testament…of our communities to make walking and bicycling safer and more widely used travel modes for our school children” says Frank DePaola, MassDOT Highway Administrator.

Our Boston personal injury attorneys understand that there are now close to 250,000 students from kindergarten through 8th grade in some 150 communities throughout the Commonwealth who are benefiting from the Massachusetts Safe Routes to School pedestrian safety initiatives and outreach education programs and services. The 500th partner to join the effort was the city of Woburn. The city reports close to 3,500 students currently enrolled. With more students involved in this program, we continue to help to make our young ones safer and reduce the risks of accidents through awareness and education.

The Massachusetts Safe Routes to School Program is different from other states’ programs because ours provides a central source of Safe Routes services to every school that’s interested within the entire state. Schools that participate are provided with year-long bicycle and pedestrian safety education instruction, environmental and safety priorities, engagement initiatives and infrastructure improvements.

Safe Routes to School pushes the five E’s: Engineering, Evaluation, Enforcement, Encouragement and Education. Through stakeholders in the community and the partnered schools, the program works to improve children’s physical and mental health all while helping them to do so safely. These efforts are also working to help to improve air quality and cut down on traffic congestion.

Currently, the state has 25 Safe Routes to School projects going on that total close to $10 million. The safety program works alongside all members of various school boards to help to make sure that all schools are well equipped to help their kids to get to and from school safely.

Children are some of our most vulnerable pedestrians. They don’t oftentimes understand the dangers that accompany vehicular traffic and are at high risks for accidents — oftentimes fatal. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), one in every five children between the ages of 5 and 9 who were killed in traffic crashes was a pedestrian in 2008.

Altogether, there were close to 4,500 pedestrians who were killed in traffic accidents across the U.S. in 2008. There were another 70,000 pedestrians who were injured in these same incidents. This means that someone was killed in these accidents every 2 hours and injured every 8 minutes.

Typically, pedestrians are 1.5 times more likely than motorists to be killed in a car accident on each trip.

If you or a loved one has been injured or killed in an accident, contact Personal Injury Attorney Jeffrey S. Glassman for a free and confidential consultation to discuss your case. Call 877-617-5333 today!

More Blog Entries:

Are You Seating Your Child Properly in A Car Seat?, Boston Personal Injury Attorney Blog, August 23, 2012

Stuffed Bunny Saved From Catastrophic MBTA Accident in Boston, Boston Personal Injury Attorney Blog, June 7, 2012